OSLO, Norway, April 29 (UPI) -- The semiautonomous Kurdish government of Iraq is expected to start selling exported oil within the next few weeks, Turkey's energy minister said Tuesday.
A pipeline from the Kurdish north is sending oil to storage tanks in Ceyhan, a Turkish sea port. Exports of Kurdish oil, however, have been on hold because of the lingering stalemate between the Kurdish and central governments over who controls what in the Iraqi energy sector.
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said from Oslo the Kurdish oil will be leaving storage.
"This oil belongs to Iraq [and] they may begin its export in May," he said.
Oil from northern Iraq has been flowing north at around 100,000 barrels per day since the start of the week, he said. He gave no indication of the export destination, noting it was up to private sellers to determine who gets Kurdish oil deliveries.
"[Turkey’s oil refiner] Tupras has its own contracts as a private company," he said. "I always say, they can make their proposal to the private sector and carry out their trade if they agree on a contract."
Last week, the Kurdish government said it generated "billions of dollars" from the oil and gas sector.